Among the biggest and possibly the most unforgivable blunders of the usurpers of Caliphate was to cast aspersions on the infallibility (ismat) of Hazrat Fatima Zahra (s.a.), the daughter of our Great Prophet (s.a.w.a.). They managed to do this by summarily rejecting her right to the property of Fadak, first as a gift and next even as inheritance. No consideration was given to her status and her relationship with the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Worst, no thought was given to her position in the eyes of Allah the Almighty and as espoused by the Majestic Quran. In doing this, the pseudo-caliphs only succeeded in bringing about their own destruction in this world and the Hereafter.

In a confrontation with the pseudo-caliphs, Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) goes on to show how their folly in rejecting the demands of Hazrat Fatima (s.a.) with respect to Fadak, had taken all of them outside the pale of Islam. They showed themselves unfit even to pass basic judgments related to Islamic jurisprudence. This calls into question how they came to occupy the divine seat of caliphate. Indeed Hazrat Fatima Zahra (s.a.) has exposed the pseudo-caliphs who only got to caliphate with help from others like them who bore intense animosity and hatred against the Holy Prophet’s progeny (a.s.) combined with an overwhelming greed for the world.

Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) confronts the caliphs

In a lengthy tradition Imam Sadiq (a.s.) narrates: …..the next day, surrounded by the Muhaajireen (immigrants) and the Ansaar (helpers), Ameerul Momineen Ali (a.s.) approached Abu Bakr in the Mosque of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.). 

He (a.s.) demanded – Why did you forbid Fatima (s.a.) from claiming the inheritance she received from her father, the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.a.), which he (s.a.w.a.) had handed over to Fatima (s.a.) during his (s.a.w.a.) lifetime?

Abu Bakr:  Fadak is from the spoils of war and is associated with all Muslims. Thus, if Fatima brings witnesses that the Prophet of Allah had given it to her as her (own personal) property, we will give it to her, otherwise she has no claim over it.

Ameerul Momineen (a.s.): O Abu Bakr! You have judged against the orders of Allah regarding us among the Muslims.

Abu Bakr: It is not so.

Ameerul Momineen (a.s.): If a property is in the possession of another Muslim and is under his control and I was to claim that it is my property, from whom will you ask for two witnesses?

Abu Bakr: I will demand two witnesses from you to support your claim (that the property is yours and not the property of the other Muslim).

Then Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) demanded: Then why do you ask for two witnesses from Fatima (s.a.) regarding a property that was already under her possession, and it was very much under her possession during the lifetime of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and even after his death? Why do you not ask the Muslims to produce two witnesses on their claim in the same way that you ask me to produce witnesses when I claim the property under the possession of someone else?

Hearing this Abu Bakr could not offer any reply and remained silent.

Umar interjected: O Ali! Keep aside these talks for we do not have the capability to refute your claims. If you bring just witnesses, then we will accept your claim; if not, Fadak is the property of all the Muslims and you and Fatima have no claim on it.

Then Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) again addressed Abu Bakr: Have you read the Quran?

Abu Bakr replied in the positive.

Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) continued: Then tell me in whose praise was this verse of the Quran revealed: ‘Verily Allah intends to keep away from you (every kind) of uncleanliness, O Ahle Bait, and purify you (with) a thorough purification.’(Surah Ahzab (33): Verse 33)

Is this verse revealed in our praise or for someone else?

Abu Bakr admits: It is revealed in your praise.

Ameerul Momineen (a.s.): Presume that some people bear witness that (Allah forbid) Fatima (s.a.) has committed a crime, what would your orders be with regards to her?

Abu Bakr replied: I shall punish her according to the laws of Allah (Allah forbid) as I would do any other woman.

Ameerul Momineen (a.s.): In that case you would be among the disbelievers in the sight of Allah!

Abu Bakr: Why is that so?

Ameerul Momineen (a.s.): For you would have refuted the witness of Allah regarding the chastity of Fatima (under Surah Ahzab (33):33) and accepted the witness of the people – thus you have rejected the command of Allah and that of the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.a.)! The Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.a.) gifted Fadak to Fatima (s.a.) under the direct command of Allah – ‘Then give to the near of kin his due’ (Surah Rum (30): Verse 38) and it remained under her possession in the lifetime of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.). You refute this command of Allah and you accept the witness of a bedouin who urinates upon his heels? You snatch Fadak away from Fatima (s.a.) and claim that it is from among the spoils of war for all Muslims?!!

The Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.a.) had said that proof is to be brought by the claimant while an oath is to be

taken by the defendant! You refute the words of the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.a.) (by demanding witnesses from Fatima s.a. while she is a defendant while in reality she should be put under oath and witnesses should be demanded from the Muslims who wish to challenge Fatima s.a.)

On hearing (Ameerul Momineen’s a.s. irrefutable arguments), the onlookers were furious at the pseudo-caliphs and a hue and cry arose among them and some of them said: By Allah! Ali speaks the truth.

After all of this transpired, Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) returned to his house.

  • Behaar al-Anwaar vol. 29 p. 130
  • Tafseer-o-Ali Ibn Ibrahim al-Qummi (r.a.) under Tafseer of Surah Rum (30): 38
  • Al-Burhaan fi Tafseer al-Quran under Tafseer of Surah Rum (30): Verse 38

The above cross-examination of Abu Bakr highlights certain irrefutable and impugnable conclusions:

  1. The pseudo-caliphs and their supporters did not have basic knowledge of Islamic jurisprudence and were unfit to solve a simple property matter between a claimant and a defendant, confusing one for the other. This is sufficient to expose their false claims and so-called right to caliphate on grounds of companionship.
  1. They rejected the Quranic verse of Surah Ahzab (33) revealed for Hazrat Fatima (s.a.) and other members of the infallible Ahle Bait (a.s.) or rather they admitted the verse was for Fatima (s.a.) but refused to apply it in this dispute. Like the Jews recognized the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) as they did their own sons and even migrated to Madinah to welcome him, but when he (s.a.w.a.) actually appeared in Madinah, they rejected him (s.a.w.a.).
  1. If consensus (ijmaa) is so important for the Muslims, then by consensus of the onlookers, Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) had overcome the pseudo-caliphs in the matter of Fadak. By consensus, Fadak belongs to Fatima (s.a.).
  1. Except for the sword and a handful of hired hoodlums, the pseudo-caliphs had no answer to the incisive arguments of Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) in the matter of Fadak.
  1. When they failed to answer the arguments of Ameerul Momineen Ali a.s.) and could not belie the status of Hazrat Fatima (s.a.) in Surah Ahzab (33):33, they took the only option available to them. They coined a lie and attributed it to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) – ‘We Prophets do not inherit nor are we inherited!’ For a few thousand dirhams, they have shown all three entities to be liars – Allah the High in Surah Ahzab, the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.) in matter of inheritance and Hazrat Fatima (s.a.) in matter of Fadak. If it is possible for someone to be a Muslim after this and worse, claim caliphate and cobble up fringe support, then indeed it is the lot of Islam and Muslims to be held in the sway of extremists and terrorists, who have nothing to do with Islam.